By Marian Broida
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Additional info for Ancient Israelites and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide
Courtesy of Scott Noegel. 14 X ————————————————————————————————————————————— 0 Cities X ————————————— ——————————— 0 The City Gates Ancient Israelites used rooms inside the city gates to conduct business. In the Bible, a man named Boaz (BOE-az) asked 10 city elders to sit in the gates to witness a meeting between himself and another man. Boaz needed the man’s permission in order to marry a widow named Ruth. The man sealed his agreement following Israelite custom—he took off his sandal in front of the witnesses and handed it to Boaz.
Or Detroit, with about 500,000 inhabitants each—or New York City, with more than 7 million (7,000,000). But to an Israelite villager, their cities must have seemed grand indeed. Some of them even had paved streets. They also had larger buildings with neatly shaped stones, stronger walls, and elaborate gates. City walls had gates to let people in and out. Each morning, gatekeepers opened the heavy doors. Each evening, they closed them for protection. But city gates were more than doors. Just inside the doors, a row of rooms opened off each side.
Over time, some grew wealthy. Some Israelites came to feel at home in Babylonia. Not everyone chose to return to Judah when they could. A woman carried an empty clay water jar upside-down on her head in this photo taken in Palestine 75 years ago. Courtesy of the Palestine Exploration Fund. 35 ———————————————————————————————————— Israelite Food T oday, if we’re hungry, what do we do? We pop something in the microwave, slap a slice of cheese between two pieces of bread, or open a can of soup. Preparing a meal, at least a simple one, can take less than five minutes.